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Plant a Tree, Grow a School

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Future Forests
WCSS has teamed up with Future Forests nursery. Our mission is to raise funds for our school and reforest small pockets of native Irish woodland. These woodlands will become arks for wildlife, be left to grow for posterity and do all the amazing things that trees and woodlands do. For as little as €15, you can take part in this inspiring project - plant a native tree, help the environment and support self-directed, democratic learning at the West Cork Sudbury School (WCSS).
Thank you - and Welcome!
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Be Part of the Future

“If what I say resonates with you, it is merely because we are both branches on the same tree.
~ W. B. Yeats

We are planting and planning for the future - help us to plant native trees and take part in supporting both our future biodiversity and our growing school.


When you Plant a Tree with West Cork Sudbury School, all you have to do is make a purchase - the School's students and staff will plant your tree for you in newly managed areas in West Cork where the landscape was once thick with woodland.

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Plant a Tree

“When we plant a tree, we plant hope.” ~ Wangari Maathai

We are passionate about the environment

- and planting hope. 

Our trees, which are fully donated by Future Forests, will be hand-picked to suit each planting site - all native species, in as diverse a range as possible.

These trees will be left to grow for posterity. Your trees will become part of a network of diverse woodlands, and havens for wildlife.

Arks to support all life.

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Grow a School

“Education is only a ladder to gather fruit from the tree of knowledge, not the fruit itself.”
~ Albert Einstein

We are passionate about education, democracy and self-directed learning.


We are part of a movement towards a very different model of education, where students have an equal part in the democratic running of the school itself and where they decide what, when and how they learn.

As your tree grows, it will enable WCSS to also to grow to its fullest potential, fulfilling the schools green ethic and supporting the environment.

Plant A Tree


Be Part of the Future

Simply decide which option you'd like from the selection below and click the relevant button. Once you've filled out the form with your contact details, and made your payment, the School's students and staff will plant your tree for you in a newly managed area in West Cork where the landscape was once thick with woodland. You’ll receive a carbon-neutral eCertificate of Participation in the project and, if you opt in, we’ll keep you updated on progress with news, photos, videos and schooling opportunities from the project.


At this time of year, what better gift than a warm promise of growth, renewal and hope for the future? It's easy! Simply decide how many trees you want to plant, make your donation and fill out your friend's name in the form. Their eCertificate will be emailed to you and you can forward it to them with your personal message.
Keep Planting

With an introductory monthly subscription of €20, 24 trees will be planted for you during the bareroot season (Nov-Mar). The equivalent of 2 trees a month. With your donation, WCSS will plant the trees for you. All proceeds are in aid of WCSS and Ireland's re-forestation. You are helping WCSS and the environment.



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And, if you don't want to buy a tree, you can simply donate any amount to WCSS here:


Plant a Tree

About Our Trees

Why Plant More Trees?

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Sources: Trees for Life

                 Tree People


  • Help prevent the climate crisis - Excess carbon dioxide (CO2) is building up in our atmosphere, contributing to climate change. Trees absorb CO2, removing and storing the carbon while releasing oxygen back into the air. In one year, an acre of mature trees absorbs the same amount of CO2 produced when you drive your car 26,000 miles.

  • Providing oxygen - ​In one year an acre of mature trees can provide enough oxygen for 18 people.

  • Trees clean the air we breathe - Trees absorb odours and pollutant gases (nitrogen oxides, ammonia, sulphur dioxide and ozone) and filter particulates out of the air by trapping them on their leaves and bark.

What are We Planting?

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Common Alder (Fearnóg)

One of Ireland's most widely distributed trees, often found in damp boggy areas and along river banks. Like most broad-leaved trees, Alnus glutinosa flowers before the leaves are out with attractive long reddish catkins appearing as early as January. The female flowers produce small cones, and these can stay on the tree all winter.
The timber has been used in building bridges & underwater foundations, for smoking foods, for joinery, turning and carving and it also makes good firewood. 
The common alder provides food and shelter to wildlife, with a number of insects, lichens and fungi being completely dependent on the tree. Also a very good soil-enhancing tree due to its nitrogen-fixing capabilities.

Alnus glutinosa is fast growing, tolerant of very wet and very poor soils and very tolerant of wind - one of our most robust native trees.

Where are We Planting?

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Coomhola Valley


Someone once said,  'Start where you are,' and that is what we have done. 

Our first tree site is located in the Coomhola valley not far from the school. The proximity of the school means the students will be easily able to participate in the tree planting.

Tucked under the Caha mountains, the valley receives high rainfall and trees grow well.

Downey Birch, Willow, Rowan and Alder naturally abound here - Holly, Scots Pine and Oak are also prevalent. 

Thank you to the following organisations for their input to our information:

  • Trees for Life - rewilding the Scottish Highlands by enabling the restoration of the globally unique Caledonian Forest.
  • Tree People - Tree People’s mission is to inspire, engage and support people to take personal responsibility for the urban environment, making it safe, healthy, fun and sustainable and to share our process as a model for the world.


Grow A School

Grow A School

West Cork Sudbury School

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WCSS is a Democratic School of Self-Directed Learning - part of a movement towards a very different model of education, where students have an equal part in the democratic running of the school itself and where they decide what, when and how they learn.

We hope that this campaign will give you a tangible option to help the Irish environment and support our growing school.

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The Plant a Tree - Grow a School campaign was conceived of and initiated during the weekly school meetings which  involve all students and staff - and it will continue to evolve in the same process.

The Process - how Everyone is involved:


Our Partners
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Who We Are

We are a family run business with a passion for growing and our environment, and one of the leading mail order plant providers in Ireland. With our roots firmly planted in the wilds of West Cork we have been inspired to work alongside our unique environmental heritage to evolve an ethical business where our values and ethos lead the way.

From humble beginnings 30 years ago we have been pioneering the gardens, orchards and woodlands of the future, developing to a committed, experienced team.

With years of business expertise behind us we have established strong relationships with growers and suppliers in Ireland and beyond.As our name suggests, the future is important to us. As growers, educators and innovators we believe we have the responsibility to protect and ensure the future of our diverse landscape and environment. Our intention is to leave a legacy that our future ancestors will be proud of. We’d love to support you to do so too.

Mattie & Maria

And Finally

Advice From A Tree
by Ilan Shamir

Dear Friend,
Stand Tall and Proud
Sink your roots deeply into the Earth
Reflect the light of a greater source
Think long term
Go out on a limb
Remember your place among all living beings
Embrace with joy the changing seasons
For each yields its own abundance
The Energy and Birth of Spring
The Growth and Contentment of Summer
The Wisdom to let go of leaves in the Fall
The Rest and Quiet Renewal of Winter
Feel the wind and the sun
And delight in their presence
Look up at the moon that shines down upon you
And the mystery of the stars at night.
Seek nourishment from the good things in life
Simple pleasures
Earth, fresh air, light
Be content with your natural beauty
Drink plenty of water
Let your limbs sway and dance in the breezes
Be flexible
Remember your roots
Enjoy the view!


Thank You for Joining Us!

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